Cover image for A century's journey : how the great powers shape the world
A century's journey : how the great powers shape the world
Pastor, Robert A.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 415 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


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D443 .C34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Will the world of the twenty-first century be dominated by global companies, ethnic strife, or rogue tyrants? This definitive volume argues convincingly that the answer depends on the actions of the world's great powers, which will continue to set the rules affecting globalization, culture, and pariah regimes.In A Century's Journey , seven influential scholars trace the global strategies of the world's most powerful countries during the past 100 years. Through authoritative chapters on each great power, readers will learn how these countries redefined their interests in response to momentous changes and reshaped the world so that it bears only slight resemblance to the world of 1900.The scholars and their areas of expertise are Professors Robert A. Pastor (United States), Stanley Hoffman of Harvard University (France), Josef Joffe, Editor of Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Robert Legvold of Columbia University (Soviet Union/Russia), Robert J. Lieber of Georgetown University (Great Britain), Michael Oksenberg of Stanford University (China), and Kenneth Pyle of the University of Washington (Japan).

Author Notes

Robert A. Pastor is the Vice President of International Affairs at American University. He has served as the Goodrich C. White Professor of Political Science at Emory University, and he is the former director of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, National Security Council. Dr. Pastor was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University and from 1985-98, he was Fellow and Founding Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program and the Democracy project at the Carter Center.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although regional powers (Israel or North Korea, for example) can occasionally have a significant impact on world affairs, it is undeniable that the twentieth century has essentially been shaped and dominated by the actions of and the interactions between the world's great national powers. Pastor, professor of international relations at Emory University, has compiled a series of essays by seven scholars, each of whom examines how one of our century's great powers (England, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, China, and the U.S.) enhanced and maintained its power and then projected it on to the world's stage. Underlying the essays is the assumption that, despite the fluidity of capital and nuclear proliferation, the next century will also be dominated by very powerful nation-states. The essays are logically argued and easily digested by laypersons. Robert Legvold's examination of Russia's past and options for the future is especially fascinating and provocative. This is a very useful survey of power relationships of the past and the present and poses essential questions for the future. --Jay Freeman

Choice Review

In terms of the scope of international politics and foreign policy, this book is a better read that some of its more notable predecessors-- Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations (1996), Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky's The Real World Order (CH, Jan'94), and Hoffmann's World Disorders (1998). Pastor's first and last chapters offer as good a short review of international politics and projection for the future as any, and the remaining seven chapters on the "great powers" are all written by well-versed, first-rate scholars (Lieber on Great Britain, Hoffman on France, Joffe on Germany, Levgold on Russia, Pastor on the US, Pyle on Japan, and Oksenberg on China). The uniformly high quality of the writing and clear focus on how each nation's past conditions its view of the future make this book "must" reading for scholars, practitioners, and interested citizens alike. The volume does not directly discuss globalization nor international interdependence and international and nongovernmental organizations. This may disappoint some, but to the degree it points to the needs of key nations for collaboration, it highlights a more realistic approach to where we may be in 20 years than others do. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. J. D. Stempel; University of Kentucky

Table of Contents

Robert A. PastorRobert J. LieberStanley HoffmannJosef JoffeRobert LegvoldRobert A. PastorKenneth B. PyleMichel OksenbergRobert A. Pastor
Prefacep. vii
1 The Great Powers in the Twentieth Century: From Dawn to Duskp. 1
2 Great Britain: Decline and Recoveryp. 33
3 France: Two Obsessions for One Centuryp. 63
4 Germany: The Continuities from Frederick the Great to the Federal Republicp. 91
5 The Three Russias: Decline, Revolution, and Reconstructionp. 139
6 The United States: Divided by a Revolutionary Visionp. 191
7 Japan: Opportunism in the Pursuit of Powerp. 239
8 China: A Tortuous Path onto the World's Stagep. 291
9 Looking Back and Forward: The Trajectories of the Great Powersp. 333
Notesp. 365
About the Editor and Authorsp. 393
Indexp. 395